How to Grow and Care for Scarlet Runner Beans

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About Growing Scarlet Runner Bean Plants in Your Garden

If you’re growing Scarlet Runner Bean plant flowers, you’re growing an edible ornamental. That’s right! It’s grown as a flowering plant and as a vegetable. So, some of us will grow Scarlet Runner Bean plants in the vegetable garden. While other gardeners will grow them in the flower garden on a trellis or fence to appreciate their bright-colored blooms. All in all, it’s a pretty cool plant, eh!?

Scarlet Runner Beans, and other varieties of runner beans, are easy to grow. It’s fast-growing, climbing up to nine feet in a season. Plants will produce a profusion of pretty flowers, amidst a heavy cover of leaves.

Plant Scarlet Runner Bean flowers where they can grow up a fence, trellis, bamboo canes, or some other kind of support.

Here’s a little secret: Scarlet Runner Bean plants are actually short-lived perennials. But, most people grow them as annuals.

Flower Colors: Shades of orange, red, and white.

Flowers Bloom: Summer to Fall

Plant Height: 6′ – 9′

Plant Hardiness Zones: 7 – 11

Annuals, Phaseolus

Scarlet Runner Bean Plant Propagation

Scarlet Runner Bean flowers are grown from seeds. Germination is quick. In warm soil, they can emerge in under a week.

Sow Scarlet Runner Bean seeds directly into the garden after the last frost in your area. Beans are highly susceptible to frost in both spring and fall. So, do not plant them too early.

Days to Germination: 7- 10 days or less, depending upon variety and weather conditions.

About Seed Germination

Annuals, Phaseolus

How to Grow Scarlet Runner Bean Plants

Growing Scarlet Runner Beans is easy. Grow Scarlet Runner Bean in full sun. Plants prefer rich, soil. Adding compost before planting, will help them to grow quickly to their full potential.

Scarlet Runner Beans require something to climb. Plant them along a fence or trellis. Trellises are a great way to display this attractive, flowering ornamental. After the blooming period, the beans will be accessible to harvest right from the trellis. In the vegetable garden, fences and bamboo poles are most often used.

Add ample amounts of water and fertilizer. The plants need both, to reach maximum growth. Also, just before the blooming period, apply a fertilizer high in phosphorous, to promote blooms.

Weed around the plants, especially while bean plants are young. Once they begin to climb, weeds will not block valuable sunlight. But, they will continue to compete for moisture and nutrients. A heavy layer of mulch around the plants will look good, and keep weeds down.

All bean plants are annuals that are very susceptible to frost. Cover them up whenever cold temperatures are expected.

Ideal Soil pH: 6.0 – 6.5.

Also, see:

Plant Problems – Identify the causes and find the cures.

Harvesting Scarlet Runner Beans for the Dinner Table

After the flowers have bloomed, bean pods will begin to grow.  If picked very young, the pods are edible. They get tough and stringy very quickly.

IMPORTANT: Most people who grow runner beans for the beans, will eat just the beans. Beans must be cooked before eating.  

Picking beans continuously promotes new flowers and more beans!

Insects and Plant Disease

Most varieties of beans are susceptible to a variety of insects, most notably beetles. They can be effectively treated with a variety of other insecticides.

Bunnies love beans! Rabbits eat the tender new leaves. If there are rabbits in your area, a rabbit fence is not a nicety, it is a necessity. They will devastate a row of beans in a hurry, eating the tender new leaves. As new ones develop, they will come back for more.

More on control of rabbits in the garden.

Deer love to nip leaves of beans. If deer are a problem in your area, they will be a problem with your runner beans.  Fencing or pest netting is the most effective control.

 More on how to control deer in gardens.

Fungus diseases are a frequent problem in wet or humid weather. Use a fungicide as needed.  Keeping the leaves dry, and avoiding overcrowding will help to keep the disease from getting a start.

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